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Re: [GAdetection] Clemence Dane

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  • Christian Henriksson
    ... Nope. Helen Simpson was Helen Simpson in real life (an Australian, no less) and wrote three books together with Clemence Dane, who was Winifred Ashton in
    Message 1 of 24 , Sep 1, 2001
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      > --- Christian Henriksson <chenrik@...> wrote:
      > > > Many thanks again for everyone re: Clemence Dane.
      > > I found a book > > on e-bay written by her in 1931
      > called Broome > Stages... it's at > > $2.00 which I
      > thought is a good price. However, it > sounds like > >
      > this is not one of her mystery books, but rather > the
      > > > psychological/thriller that Christian referred to
      > > in his post.In > > any event, I'll watch it and see
      > if I want to > invest anymore than > > the $2.00
      > currently bid.
      > >
      > > This must be a non-mystery. What I was trying to say
      > > in my > convoluted post was that Dane only
      > collaborated on > three mystery > novels - however,
      > her collaborator Helen Simpson > wrote another >
      > mystery novel alone, which was a psychological >
      > thriller.
      >
      > Weren't Helen Simpson and Clemence Dane the same
      > person?

      Nope. Helen Simpson was Helen Simpson in real life (an
      Australian, no less) and wrote three books together with Clemence
      Dane, who was Winifred Ashton in real life.

      After these three novels, Helen Simpson wrote a psychological
      thriller without the help of Dane/Ashton.

      Christian Henriksson
      (chenrik@...)
      --
      The human race, to which so many of my
      readers belong.
      - G. K. Chesterton
    • Christian Henriksson
      Yes, indeed! Check out http://hem.passagen.se/orange/biblio.htm for a number of additions to the bibliography site. Several great authors, including Simenon,
      Message 2 of 24 , Sep 1, 2001
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        Yes, indeed!

        Check out http://hem.passagen.se/orange/biblio.htm for a number
        of additions to the bibliography site. Several great authors,
        including Simenon, Chandler, Hammett, Brand and Mitchell, have
        been added - in all, 13 new authors. For a complete list of the
        additions, please follow the link on the main page to "What's New".

        Do let me know if you spot any errors or omissions!

        Huge thanks go out to Nick Fuller, Doug Greene, Anita Hoffman
        and a handful of non-members for help on these additions. (I hope I
        didn't forget to mention anyone here.)

        Christian Henriksson
        (chenrik@...)
        --
        The human race, to which so many of my
        readers belong.
        - G. K. Chesterton
      • Christian Henriksson
        Actually, I didn t read that many mysteries while away on vacation, but I managed to squeeze in a few, and I ve read a couple more since I got back. Colin
        Message 3 of 24 , Sep 1, 2001
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          Actually, I didn't read that many mysteries while away on vacation,
          but I managed to squeeze in a few, and I've read a couple more
          since I got back.

          Colin Dexter THE REMORSEFUL DAY 3/5

          Inspector Morse gets assigned to a murder case which has been
          re-opened after having been unsolved for around one year. Soon
          more people are found dead, and Morse must reluctantly start
          sorting out the facts.

          While the main mystery is not too hard to figure out (especially
          towards the last few chapters), it's much harder to guess who's
          behind the anonymous mail. A good surprise there! But that's not
          enough to lift this book towards any particular heights, and thus the
          Morse saga, to use a cliché, ends with a whimper instead of a
          bang. At least Lewis got some nice character moments here.

          Nicholas Blake THE SMILER WITH THE KNIFE 3/5

          Georgia Strangeways is asked by husband Nigel's uncle John to
          begin investigating and infiltrating an organisation which threatens
          to overthrow the government and install a megalomaniacal tyrant as
          ruler of Britain.

          This is one of those high-brow thrillers (Michael Innes is probably
          best known for his stuff in the same genre), which I tend to have very
          low opinions of when not reading them. On the other hand, when I
          do read them, they often breeze by fairly quickly - and I also tend to
          enjoy them. This is one of the better books of the genre, but it's let
          down by having too little action.

          Jack Iams WHAT RHYMES WITH MURDER 3.5/5

          (Yes, what does rhyme with murder?)
          Stanley "Rocky" Rockwell, newspaper editor for a paper involved in
          a war with a competitor, gets involved when an English poet, known
          as a huge womaniser, is found shot. Because his fiancée is found
          at the side of the dead poet's body, and his revolver is found in the
          vicinity, he soon becomes a suspect.

          Another one of Iams's light mysteries - fair play isn't too much of a
          concern here, but fun is had by all involved. Iams often tends to have
          sprightly middle-aged/elderly ladies as investigators, and this is no
          exception. Society reporter Mrs. Pritchard(?) handles secretaries of
          English poets, diplomats, tea and dumb D.A.s with an enviable
          ease. I rather like this type of mystery, but I still have to ask myself
          why on earth Rocky has to apologise to his fiancée. (The luxury of
          having no steady girlfriend shines through, I guess. :)

          Ngaio Marsh DEATH AT THE BAR 3.5/5

          A British lawyer is on holiday at his favourite resort, with his cousin
          and friend. He tends to antagonise most of the people in the village,
          including members of the Communist party, his old "girlfriend" and
          his own travelling companions. So it's no wonder that he dies, but
          what actually killed him?

          A clever mystery, where it's easy to find the motive of the obvious
          suspect, but harder to figure out how he could have done it. Clever
          misdirection and an extra layer of twists and turns towards the end
          make this another one in a row of recommended books by Marsh.
          (This was written during her first period of greatness, lasting from
          1937's VINTAGE MURDER to 1940's DEATH OF A PEER. The
          second one came in the fifties and lasted from 1955's SCALES OF
          JUSTICE to 1962's HAND IN GLOVE.)

          Patricia Moyes FALLING STAR 3.5/5

          This novel takes place during the shooting of a movie, where one
          day the leading man falls in front of a train and dies. Shortly
          thereafter a recently fired member of the film crew is found dead.
          Henry Tibbett is not convinced that the latter death is suicide and
          begins investigating.

          The setting is rather interesting here, and it's obvious that Moyes
          was used to film-making (she was Peter Ustinov's secretary and
          personal assistant for 8 years). And the murderer is well-hidden -
          the reader is led to suspect one of the characters, but of course it
          turns out to be someone else.

          The main fault of this book is the narrator, who is one of those
          stupid people who never understands the true significance of what's
          being said and done. It's probably supposed to add comic flavour
          to the book, but it only serves to annoy this reader. Horrible
          character!

          I also - finally - got hold of the only Swedish translation of Lord
          Dunsany's "The Two Bottles of Relish". A classic short story, but
          easy to see through for a seasoned GA reader - actually, the title
          kinda suggests the whole plot. But I do understand why publishers
          were reluctant to touch this story now. In all, arguably a classic, but
          not all that exciting a read.
          Christian Henriksson
          (chenrik@...)
          --
          The human race, to which so many of my
          readers belong.
          - G. K. Chesterton
        • Nicholas Fuller
          ... few, and I ve read a couple more since I got back. ... around one year. Soon more people are found dead, and Morse must reluctantly start
          Message 4 of 24 , Sep 1, 2001
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            --- Christian Henriksson <chenrik@...> wrote:
            > Actually, I didn't read that many mysteries while
            > away on vacation, > but I managed to squeeze in a
            few, and I've read a > couple more > since I got back.
            >
            > Colin Dexter THE REMORSEFUL DAY 3/5
            >
            > Inspector Morse gets assigned to a murder case which
            > has been > re-opened after having been unsolved for
            around one > year. Soon > more people are found dead,
            and Morse must > reluctantly start sorting out the
            facts.
            >
            > While the main mystery is not too hard to figure out
            > (especially > towards the last few chapters), it's
            much harder to > guess who's > behind the anonymous
            mail. A good surprise there! > But that's not >
            enough to lift this book towards any particular >
            heights, and thus the > Morse saga, to use a cliché,
            ends with a whimper > instead of a > bang. At least
            Lewis got some nice character moments > here.

            I wasn't impressed either--the book seemed tired and
            dull, and the only suspense came from whether the book
            was a repeat of CURTAIN or not. Funny that several
            authors are getting rid of their detectives at the
            moment--H.R.F. Keating has written the last Ghote.
            The film version was better.


            > Nicholas Blake THE SMILER WITH THE KNIFE 3/5
            >
            > Georgia Strangeways is asked by husband Nigel's
            > uncle John to > begin investigating and infiltrating
            an organisation > which threatens > to overthrow the
            government and install a> megalomaniacal tyrant as >
            ruler of Britain.
            >
            > This is one of those high-brow thrillers (Michael >
            Innes is probably > best known for his stuff in the
            same genre), which I > tend to have very > low
            opinions of when not reading them. On the other >
            hand, when I > do read them, they often breeze by
            fairly quickly - > and I also tend to > enjoy them.
            This is one of the better books of the > genre, but
            it's let > down by having too little action.

            I loved this one--great comedy, great suspense, even
            the typical mad scientist and megalomaniac villain are
            well drawn characters. Haven't read many of Michael
            Innes' thrillers, don't really want to--APPLEBY PLAYS
            CHICKEN was bad, but THE JOURNEYING BOY was
            entertaining. Has anyone read THE SECRET VANGUARD,
            FROM LONDON FAR, or OPERATION PAX?


            > Ngaio Marsh DEATH AT THE BAR 3.5/5
            >
            > A British lawyer is on holiday at his favourite >
            resort, with his cousin > and friend. He tends to
            antagonise most of the > people in the village, >
            including members of the Communist party, his old >
            "girlfriend" and > his own travelling companions. So
            it's no wonder > that he dies, but what actually
            killed him?
            >
            > A clever mystery, where it's easy to find the motive
            > of the obvious > suspect, but harder to figure out
            how he could have > done it. Clever > misdirection and
            an extra layer of twists and turns > towards the end
            > make this another one in a row of recommended books
            > by Marsh. > (This was written during her first
            period of > greatness, lasting from > 1937's VINTAGE
            MURDER to 1940's DEATH OF A PEER. The > > second one
            came in the fifties and lasted from > 1955's SCALES OF

            > JUSTICE to 1962's HAND IN GLOVE.)

            I didn't like this one at all. Even when I was
            reading the last two chapters, it was all I could do
            to keep going--thoroughly boring. I'm surprised you
            don't include the books of the 1940s--COLOUR SCHEME
            and DIED IN THE WOOL are both good, while FINAL
            CURTAIN is perhaps her masterpiece (can't stand the
            much touted SURFEIT OF LAMPREYS--a bad book to start
            off on).


            Regards,

            Nick Fuller

            ____________________________________________________________
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          • Christian Henriksson
            ... I ve read VANGUARD and PAX, and gave both of them a solid 3 out of 5 (to compare, I gave JOURNEYING BOY a 3.5). They were both entertaining, with perhaps
            Message 5 of 24 , Sep 2, 2001
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              > > Nicholas Blake THE SMILER WITH THE KNIFE 3/5
              > >
              > > This is one of those high-brow thrillers (Michael >
              > Innes is probably > best known for his stuff in the
              > same genre),
              >
              > I loved this one--great comedy, great suspense, even
              > the typical mad scientist and megalomaniac villain are
              > well drawn characters. Haven't read many of Michael
              > Innes' thrillers, don't really want to--APPLEBY PLAYS
              > CHICKEN was bad, but THE JOURNEYING BOY was
              > entertaining. Has anyone read THE SECRET VANGUARD,
              > FROM LONDON FAR, or OPERATION PAX?

              I've read VANGUARD and PAX, and gave both of them a solid 3
              out of 5 (to compare, I gave JOURNEYING BOY a 3.5). They were
              both entertaining, with perhaps an edge to PAX, which contains
              several of the usual Innes absurdities. VANGUARD is much more
              serious, a real spy thriller, and it's perhaps not surprising that it is -
              it was written during the war.

              (And don't forget his other famous thriller, THE MAN FROM THE
              SEA. I tended to dislike it the first time I read it, but I've
              reconsidered and now give it a 3.5.)
              >
              > > Ngaio Marsh DEATH AT THE BAR 3.5/5
              > >
              > > (This was written during her first
              > period of > greatness, lasting from > 1937's VINTAGE
              > MURDER to 1940's DEATH OF A PEER. The > > second one
              > came in the fifties and lasted from > 1955's SCALES OF
              > > JUSTICE to 1962's HAND IN GLOVE.)
              >
              > I'm surprised you
              > don't include the books of the 1940s--COLOUR SCHEME
              > and DIED IN THE WOOL are both good, while FINAL
              > CURTAIN is perhaps her masterpiece (can't stand the
              > much touted SURFEIT OF LAMPREYS--a bad book to start
              > off on).

              Perhaps I should have lengthened period one to 1947, ending it
              with FINAL CURTAIN, but I do not have the same high opinion of
              DIED IN THE WOOL as you do (but I may change my mind, since
              my re-readings haven't reached that book yet). DEATH AND THE
              DANCING FOOTMAN also only received a 3 out of 5, so a bit of a
              slump there during the 40s.

              LAMPREYS (or DEATH OF A PEER) is the one I'm re-reading at
              the moment - I gave it a 4 the last time, and I feel confident that I
              won't change my mind too much this time either.


              Christian Henriksson
              (chenrik@...)
              --
              The human race, to which so many of my
              readers belong.
              - G. K. Chesterton
            • Ralph, Adrienne (REA-PtMelb)
              Hi Nick Do you know more about Clemence Dane aka Helen Simpson. I gather she is the same Helen Simpson who spurred Gladys Mitchell s interest in witchcraft,
              Message 6 of 24 , Sep 2, 2001
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                Hi Nick

                Do you know more about Clemence Dane aka Helen Simpson. I gather she is the
                same Helen Simpson who spurred Gladys Mitchell's interest in witchcraft,
                which was, as I recall, my opening gambit for this group.

                I am starting to see the Mitchell interest in witchcraft and the
                supernatural is akin to some novelists interest in ghost stories. They add
                colour and imaginative dimensions. But I can't abide them!

                With best wishes

                Adrienne

                ps I was once told I was "very sane". I felt a little less interesting at
                that moment.

                -----Original Message-----
                From: Sam Karnick [mailto:SAMK@...]
                Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2001 1:49 AM
                To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [GAdetection] Clemence Dane


                Nick,

                You will surely make a fine literary critic if you learn to temper your
                opinions just a bit. I contend that Alfred Hitchcock's MURDER is quite
                enjoyable, and I have been judged by some to be perfectly sane and
                right-minded.

                Best w's,

                S. T. Karnick

                S. T. Karnick
                Editor in Chief, American Outlook (www.americanoutlook.org)
                Director of Publications, Hudson Institute (www.hudson.org)


                >>> stoke_moran@... 08/30/01 10:47PM >>>

                The early Hitchock film MURDER (to be avoided by all
                sane and right-minded people) was based on a Clemence
                Dane--I forget which one.

                Clemence Dane gave Mrs. Bradley her middle name
                "Adela", and wrote the Mrs. Bradley sections of ASK A
                POLICEMAN.

                Regards,

                Nick Fuller

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              • Nicholas Fuller
                ... wrote: Hi Nick ... who spurred Gladys Mitchell s interest in witchcraft, which was, as I recall, my opening
                Message 7 of 24 , Sep 2, 2001
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                  --- "Ralph, Adrienne (REA-PtMelb)"
                  <Adrienne.Ralph@...> wrote: > Hi Nick
                  >
                  > Do you know more about Clemence Dane aka Helen
                  > Simpson. I gather she is the > same Helen Simpson
                  who spurred Gladys Mitchell's > interest in
                  witchcraft, > which was, as I recall, my opening
                  gambit for this > group.

                  I don't know much about Dane / Simpson, I'm afraid.
                  The author biography of THE DEVIL AT SAXON WALL (1939
                  Penguin) states: "DEATH AT THE OPERA was written
                  after [Mitchell] became interested in the educational
                  theories of A.S. Neill, and THE DEVIL AT SAXON WALL
                  came as the result of hearing a lecutre on witchcraft
                  by Miss Helen Simpson." Don't really understand the
                  thing about good wine needing no bush on the back of
                  the 1950s Penguins...

                  > I am starting to see the Mitchell interest in
                  > witchcraft and the > supernatural is akin to some
                  novelists interest in > ghost stories. They add >
                  colour and imaginative dimensions. But I can't abide >
                  them!

                  Why don't you like ghost stories? Personally, I can't
                  stand fantasy or science-fiction, but I am a great fan
                  of ghost stories--as opposed to Stephen King horror
                  stuff, which just strikes me as being mental junk
                  food. M.R. James is deservedly famous--his ability to
                  create fear and tension is unsurpassed, and he does
                  this without the screaming heebie-jeebies of J.D. Carr
                  (a great plotter but, in many ways, a horrible
                  writer). You should try "CASTING THE RUNES", "THE
                  TREASURE OF ABBOT THOMAS", "A WARNING TO THE CURIOUS",
                  and "OH, WHISTLE AND I'LL COME TO YOU, MY LAD"--all
                  are superb.

                  The Mitchells with witchcraft and the supernatural
                  are, I think, her best--THE DEVIL AT SAXON WALL is a
                  tour de force of imagination; COME AWAY, DEATH has
                  really compelling atmosphere; WHEN LAST I DIED is one
                  of the greatest uses of the haunted house setting in
                  the genre; DEATH AND THE MAIDEN has a distinctly odd
                  feeling all its own, with its water nymphs and river
                  setting; THE DANCING DRUIDS has an incredibly
                  terrifying opening, with a young man playing hares and
                  hounds, and getting lost in the wilds, stumbling
                  across the odd inhabitants of a house with only dead
                  trees growing outside; TOM BROWN'S BODY's witchcraft
                  is superb--the ending "the genuine Mitchell frisson"
                  as Larkin put it; MERLIN'S FURLONG's witchcraft is
                  entertaining and unusual--FURLONG is in many ways the
                  quintessential Gladys Mitchell novel; and HERE LIES
                  GLORIA MUNDY has an ending which, like that of TOM
                  BROWN'S BODY, has to be read to be believed. On the
                  other hand, I find her works of the 1960s and 1970s
                  inferior--WRAITHS AND CHANGELINGS, for example, has a
                  ghost tour setting that should work, but goes merrily
                  down the plug hole after a few chapters--she did this
                  much better in THE WHISPERING KNIGHTS, which combines
                  stone circles with flitting wraiths of evil. Another
                  problem with the works of the '60s and '70s is that
                  too often there is little ingenuity of plot, the plot
                  tends to be simplistic (simplistic by most author's
                  standards, which is surprising considering that
                  Mitchell's books are "based on the thicket theory of
                  plotting", to quote Patricia Craig, or what Margery
                  Allingham termed "plum pudding"--complication,
                  complication, and more-complication) and too much
                  travelling--e.g., DEATH OF A DELFT BLUE (1964), 3
                  QUICK AND FIVE DEAD (1968), LAMENT FOR LETO (1971),
                  WINKING AT THE BRIM (1974). On the other hand, a few
                  books of the 1960s and 1970s stand out: THE CROAKING
                  RAVEN (1966) is quite entertaining; DANCE TO YOUR
                  DADDY (1969) is an excellent take-off of the Gothic
                  novel, complete with young woman forced to wear armour
                  by her wicked guardian; GORY DEW (1970) has some
                  excellent misdirection; LATE, LATE IN THE EVENING
                  (1976), her fiftieth, has a good plot, and a nice
                  setting; FAULT IN THE STRUCTURE (1977) is an excellent
                  tale--how the psychological thriller should be done;
                  and from 1979 on, her books improved--both NEST OF
                  VIPERS and THE MUDFLATS OF THE DEAD are well worth
                  seeking out.

                  Regards,

                  Nick Fuller

                  ____________________________________________________________
                  Do You Yahoo!?
                  Get your free @... address at http://mail.yahoo.co.uk
                  or your free @... address at http://mail.yahoo.ie
                • Ralph, Adrienne (REA-PtMelb)
                  ... From: Nicholas Fuller [mailto:stoke_moran@yahoo.com] Sent: Monday, September 03, 2001 11:37 AM To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com Subject: RE: [GAdetection]
                  Message 8 of 24 , Sep 2, 2001
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                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: Nicholas Fuller [mailto:stoke_moran@...]
                    Sent: Monday, September 03, 2001 11:37 AM
                    To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: RE: [GAdetection] Clemence Dane


                    --- "Ralph, Adrienne (REA-PtMelb)"
                    <Adrienne.Ralph@...> wrote: > Hi Nick
                    >
                    > Do you know more about Clemence Dane aka Helen
                    > Simpson. I gather she is the > same Helen Simpson
                    who spurred Gladys Mitchell's > interest in
                    witchcraft, > which was, as I recall, my opening
                    gambit for this > group.

                    I don't know much about Dane / Simpson, I'm afraid.
                    The author biography of THE DEVIL AT SAXON WALL (1939
                    Penguin) states: "DEATH AT THE OPERA was written
                    after [Mitchell] became interested in the educational
                    theories of A.S. Neill, and THE DEVIL AT SAXON WALL
                    came as the result of hearing a lecutre on witchcraft
                    by Miss Helen Simpson." Don't really understand the
                    thing about good wine needing no bush on the back of
                    the 1950s Penguins...

                    Well there was obviously quite a lot going on between Mitchell and Simpson,
                    including naming characters. Could be a lead for your biography Nick.

                    > I am starting to see the Mitchell interest in
                    > witchcraft and the > supernatural is akin to some
                    novelists interest in > ghost stories. They add >
                    colour and imaginative dimensions. But I can't abide >
                    them!

                    Why don't you like ghost stories? Personally, I can't
                    stand fantasy or science-fiction, but I am a great fan
                    of ghost stories--as opposed to Stephen King horror
                    stuff, which just strikes me as being mental junk
                    food. M.R. James is deservedly famous--his ability to
                    create fear and tension is unsurpassed, and he does
                    this without the screaming heebie-jeebies of J.D. Carr
                    (a great plotter but, in many ways, a horrible
                    writer). You should try "CASTING THE RUNES", "THE
                    TREASURE OF ABBOT THOMAS", "A WARNING TO THE CURIOUS",
                    and "OH, WHISTLE AND I'LL COME TO YOU, MY LAD"--all
                    are superb.

                    I'm not sure there could be a rational answer to why I don't like ghost
                    stories. But, perforce, such a preference is nothing but irrational. There
                    are some exceptional ghost stories that I have enjoyed, and the supernatural
                    can be an interesting element in any genre, but anything that smacks of mere
                    superstition repels me. I hate superstition, it is akin to mischief-making,
                    and I have no time for it. Therefore Buddhist or Chinese ghost stories are
                    the more interesting because, for these cultures, ghosts can be part of
                    deeply-help metaphysical belief-system.

                    I don't appreciate gratuitous violence or being manipulated into fear. (I
                    have been known to find gratuitous sex quite tolerable, but I don't let that
                    get around too much...) It may be my age, or life experiences, but after a
                    couple of bad frights (I'm sure no more than most people who have been
                    around the block a few times), I respect fear too much to think about
                    playing with it.

                    The Mitchells with witchcraft and the supernatural
                    are, I think, her best--THE DEVIL AT SAXON WALL is a
                    tour de force of imagination; COME AWAY, DEATH has
                    really compelling atmosphere; WHEN LAST I DIED is one
                    of the greatest uses of the haunted house setting in
                    the genre; DEATH AND THE MAIDEN has a distinctly odd
                    feeling all its own, with its water nymphs and river
                    setting; THE DANCING DRUIDS has an incredibly
                    terrifying opening, with a young man playing hares and
                    hounds, and getting lost in the wilds, stumbling
                    across the odd inhabitants of a house with only dead
                    trees growing outside; TOM BROWN'S BODY's witchcraft
                    is superb--the ending "the genuine Mitchell frisson"
                    as Larkin put it; MERLIN'S FURLONG's witchcraft is
                    entertaining and unusual--FURLONG is in many ways the
                    quintessential Gladys Mitchell novel; and HERE LIES
                    GLORIA MUNDY has an ending which, like that of TOM
                    BROWN'S BODY, has to be read to be believed. On the
                    other hand, I find her works of the 1960s and 1970s
                    inferior--WRAITHS AND CHANGELINGS, for example, has a
                    ghost tour setting that should work, but goes merrily
                    down the plug hole after a few chapters--she did this
                    much better in THE WHISPERING KNIGHTS, which combines
                    stone circles with flitting wraiths of evil. Another
                    problem with the works of the '60s and '70s is that
                    too often there is little ingenuity of plot, the plot
                    tends to be simplistic (simplistic by most author's
                    standards, which is surprising considering that
                    Mitchell's books are "based on the thicket theory of
                    plotting", to quote Patricia Craig, or what Margery
                    Allingham termed "plum pudding"--complication,
                    complication, and more-complication)

                    Both excellent descriptions. I find the thicket-like plots - ie beyond
                    labyrinthine - can detract from her work, distract from her characters and
                    frankly could be pruned back to a more elegant structure which would give
                    her works greater cohesion.

                    and too much
                    travelling--e.g., DEATH OF A DELFT BLUE (1964), 3
                    QUICK AND FIVE DEAD (1968), LAMENT FOR LETO (1971),
                    WINKING AT THE BRIM (1974). On the other hand, a few
                    books of the 1960s and 1970s stand out: THE CROAKING
                    RAVEN (1966) is quite entertaining; DANCE TO YOUR
                    DADDY (1969) is an excellent take-off of the Gothic
                    novel, complete with young woman forced to wear armour
                    by her wicked guardian;

                    I remember this as funny but silly. Credulity was bent out of all
                    recognition.

                    GORY DEW (1970) has some
                    excellent misdirection; LATE, LATE IN THE EVENING
                    (1976), her fiftieth, has a good plot, and a nice
                    setting; FAULT IN THE STRUCTURE (1977) is an excellent
                    tale--how the psychological thriller should be done;
                    and from 1979 on, her books improved--both NEST OF
                    VIPERS and THE MUDFLATS OF THE DEAD are well worth
                    seeking out.

                    Regards,

                    Nick Fuller


                    ps Sepulle, as I strain my short-term memory, was the doctor in 'When I Last
                    Died'.
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                  • chenrik@tiscali.se
                    ... People, people. Let s try this again, shall we? :) Helen Simpson and Clemence Dane are two different people. The connection between them is that they
                    Message 9 of 24 , Sep 3, 2001
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                      --- In GAdetection@y..., "Ralph, Adrienne (REA-PtMelb)"
                      <Adrienne.Ralph@r...> wrote:
                      > Hi Nick
                      >
                      > Do you know more about Clemence Dane aka Helen Simpson. I gather
                      > she is the same Helen Simpson who spurred Gladys Mitchell's
                      > interest in witchcraft, which was, as I recall, my opening gambit
                      > for this group.

                      People, people. Let's try this again, shall we? :)

                      Helen Simpson and Clemence Dane are two different people. The
                      connection between them is that they collaborated on three novels.

                      Christian Henriksson
                    • Nicholas Fuller
                      . --- Ralph, Adrienne (REA-PtMelb) ... between Mitchell and Simpson, including naming characters. Could be a lead for your biography Nick. Well, I m
                      Message 10 of 24 , Sep 3, 2001
                      • 0 Attachment
                        .> --- "Ralph, Adrienne (REA-PtMelb)"
                        > <Adrienne.Ralph@...> wrote: > Hi
                        > Nick
                        > >
                        > > Do you know more about Clemence Dane aka Helen
                        > > Simpson. I gather she is the > same Helen Simpson
                        > who spurred Gladys Mitchell's > interest in
                        > witchcraft, > which was, as I recall, my opening
                        > gambit for this > group.
                        >
                        > I don't know much about Dane / Simpson, I'm afraid.
                        > The author biography of THE DEVIL AT SAXON WALL
                        > (1939
                        > Penguin) states: "DEATH AT THE OPERA was written
                        > after [Mitchell] became interested in the
                        > educational
                        > theories of A.S. Neill, and THE DEVIL AT SAXON WALL
                        > came as the result of hearing a lecutre on
                        > witchcraft
                        > by Miss Helen Simpson." Don't really understand the
                        > thing about good wine needing no bush on the back of
                        > the 1950s Penguins...
                        >
                        > Well there was obviously quite a lot going on >
                        between Mitchell and Simpson, > including naming
                        characters. Could be a lead for > your biography Nick.

                        Well, I'm going to see if I can find a copy of ASK A
                        POLICEMAN--that should give me some material to work
                        with--interesting to see what Dane did with Mrs. Croc.
                        I should also keep an eye out for the Simpson / Dane
                        books--see how much similarity there is between them
                        and Mitchell. And if I could get a copy of Winifred
                        Blazey's CROUCHING HILLS--Mitchell dedicated several
                        books, including SUNSET OVER SOHO, MY FATHER SLEEPS, &
                        DEATH AND THE MAIDEN, to Blazey...

                        > > I am starting to see the Mitchell interest in
                        > > witchcraft and the > supernatural is akin to some
                        > novelists interest in > ghost stories. They add >
                        > colour and imaginative dimensions. But I can't abide
                        > > > them!
                        >
                        > Why don't you like ghost stories? Personally, I >
                        can't > stand fantasy or science-fiction, but I am a
                        great > fan > of ghost stories--as opposed to Stephen
                        King horror > stuff, which just strikes me as being
                        mental junk > food. M.R. James is deservedly
                        famous--his ability > to > create fear and tension is
                        unsurpassed, and he does > this without the screaming
                        heebie-jeebies of J.D. > Carr > (a great plotter but,
                        in many ways, a horrible > writer). You should try
                        "CASTING THE RUNES", "THE > TREASURE OF ABBOT THOMAS",
                        "A WARNING TO THE > CURIOUS", > and "OH, WHISTLE AND
                        I'LL COME TO YOU, MY LAD"--all > are superb.
                        >
                        > I'm not sure there could be a rational answer to why
                        > I don't like ghost > stories. But, perforce, such a
                        preference is > nothing but irrational.

                        Well, as ghost stories rely on humanity's IRrational
                        fears to achieve their effect...

                        There > are some exceptional ghost stories that I have
                        > enjoyed, and the supernatural > can be an
                        interesting element in any genre, but > anything that
                        smacks of mere > superstition repels me. I hate
                        superstition, it is > akin to mischief-making, > and I
                        have no time for it. Therefore Buddhist or > Chinese
                        ghost stories are > the more interesting because, for
                        these cultures, > ghosts can be part of > deeply-help
                        metaphysical belief-system.

                        Superstition for the sake of superstition is often
                        irritating--Mitchell neatly parodied this in HERE
                        COMES A CHOPPER, where, owing to the insanity of the
                        hostess, a party of 14 sits down at table for five
                        hours under the misapprehension that there are 13 at
                        table, and that the first one to stand up will die. I
                        also find horoscopes irritating--the "predictions" can
                        be applied to anything.
                        On the other hand, superstition can often give an
                        indication of how people think, and of how cultures
                        function--e.g., the Roman habit of taking the
                        auspices--interesting to see the highly ingenious
                        interpretations made from the evidence!

                        > I don't appreciate gratuitous violence or being >
                        manipulated into fear. (I > have been known to find
                        gratuitous sex quite > tolerable, but I don't let that
                        > get around too much...) It may be my age, or life >
                        experiences, but after a > couple of bad frights (I'm
                        sure no more than most > people who have been > around
                        the block a few times), I respect fear too > much to
                        think about > playing with it.
                        >
                        > The Mitchells with witchcraft and the supernatural
                        > are, I think, her best--THE DEVIL AT SAXON WALL is a
                        > tour de force of imagination; COME AWAY, DEATH has
                        > really compelling atmosphere; WHEN LAST I DIED is
                        > one > of the greatest uses of the haunted house
                        setting in > the genre; DEATH AND THE MAIDEN has a
                        distinctly odd > feeling all its own, with its water
                        nymphs and river > setting; THE DANCING DRUIDS has an
                        incredibly > terrifying opening, with a young man
                        playing hares > and > hounds, and getting lost in the
                        wilds, stumbling > across the odd inhabitants of a
                        house with only dead > trees growing outside; TOM
                        BROWN'S BODY's witchcraft > is superb--the ending "the
                        genuine Mitchell frisson" > as Larkin put it; MERLIN'S
                        FURLONG's witchcraft is > entertaining and
                        unusual--FURLONG is in many ways > the >
                        quintessential Gladys Mitchell novel; and HERE LIES >
                        GLORIA MUNDY has an ending which, like that of TOM >
                        BROWN'S BODY, has to be read to be believed. On the >
                        other hand, I find her works of the 1960s and 1970s >
                        inferior--WRAITHS AND CHANGELINGS, for example, has >
                        a > ghost tour setting that should work, but goes >
                        merrily > down the plug hole after a few chapters--she
                        did > this > much better in THE WHISPERING KNIGHTS,
                        which > combines
                        > stone circles with flitting wraiths of evil.
                        > Another > problem with the works of the '60s and
                        '70s is that > too often there is little ingenuity of
                        plot, the > plot > tends to be simplistic (simplistic
                        by most author's > standards, which is surprising
                        considering that > Mitchell's books are "based on the
                        thicket theory of > plotting", to quote Patricia
                        Craig, or what Margery > Allingham termed "plum
                        pudding"--complication, > complication, and
                        more-complication)
                        >
                        > Both excellent descriptions. I find the thicket-like
                        > plots - ie beyond > labyrinthine - can detract from
                        her work, distract > from her characters and > frankly
                        could be pruned back to a more elegant > structure
                        which would give > her works greater cohesion.

                        I like complication in books--it shows that the author
                        has got an imagination, and is trying to construct an
                        elaborate maze. Of course, some books, such as THE
                        WORSTED VIPER (1943), where everything is unclear,
                        even the murderers' identities and motive--something
                        about a French translation of a name being the only
                        "clue"--are horrible; others, such as the early books
                        from BUTCHER'S SHOP - COME AWAY DEATH, SUNSET OVER
                        SOHO, and DEATH AND THE MAIDEN are good complex
                        stories.

                        > and too much > travelling--e.g., DEATH OF A DELFT
                        BLUE (1964), 3 > QUICK AND FIVE DEAD (1968), LAMENT
                        FOR LETO (1971), > WINKING AT THE BRIM (1974). On the
                        other hand, a > few > books of the 1960s and 1970s
                        stand out: THE CROAKING > RAVEN (1966) is quite
                        entertaining; DANCE TO YOUR > DADDY (1969) is an
                        excellent take-off of the Gothic > novel, complete
                        with young woman forced to wear > armour > by her
                        wicked guardian;
                        >
                        > I remember this as funny but silly. Credulity was
                        > bent out of all > recognition.

                        How much of Mitchell is credible? Written down in
                        summary form, much of Mitchell looks as though it
                        would fail miserably--try writing down the plot of one
                        of Mitchell's masterpieces, and see whether, without
                        benefit of Mitchell's writing and ability to sustain
                        atmosphere and characterisation, the piece would work.
                        One of Mitchell's gifts--a git she shared with
                        Michael Innes, especially in STOP PRESS or THE
                        DAFFODIL AFFAIR--was the ability to take the
                        fantastic, and build up a structure to make it
                        credible.

                        > GORY DEW (1970) has some > excellent misdirection;
                        LATE, LATE IN THE EVENING > (1976), her fiftieth, has
                        a good plot, and a nice > setting; FAULT IN THE
                        STRUCTURE (1977) is an > excellent > tale--how the
                        psychological thriller should be done; > and from 1979
                        on, her books improved--both NEST OF > VIPERS and THE
                        MUDFLATS OF THE DEAD are well worth > seeking out.
                        >
                        Regards,

                        Nick Fuller

                        > ps Sepulle, as I strain my short-term memory, was
                        > the doctor in 'When I Last > Died'.

                        Ah!

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                      • Nicholas Fuller
                        On the subject of pseudo-supernatural detective stories: Idly glancing through Barzun & Taylor (actually, have spent the last month underlining things in
                        Message 11 of 24 , Sep 3, 2001
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                          On the subject of pseudo-supernatural detective
                          stories:

                          Idly glancing through Barzun & Taylor (actually, have
                          spent the last month underlining things in it--much
                          less eccentric and much more catholic than Symons, as
                          it covers detective stories, thrillers, H.I.B.K.,
                          psychological stories, detective novels, police
                          procedurals, etc.--Symons condemns everything that
                          isn't "realistic"), and was struck by the work of
                          R(ubie). C(onstance). Ashby, whose work seems to
                          resemble Gladys Mitchell's:

                          HE ARRIVED AT DUSK has an M.R. Jamesian "London
                          antiquary summoned to value and catalogue a library"
                          investigating "the possible curse laid on by the ghost
                          of a Roman centurion", while

                          OUT WENT THE TAPER has "elements of the supernatural
                          ... left dangling at the end of the tale, which
                          concerns a young Rhodes scholar's involvement in the
                          mystery surrounding a ruined Welsh monastery".

                          As the author's work is rare--and therefore
                          expensive--I am wondering whether it is worth the
                          expenditure to secure an expensive copy (i.e.,
                          $50--$60 U.S., roughly twice as much in Australian
                          money) of one of those two books. If so, which one?

                          Regards,

                          Nick Fuller

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                        • Ralph, Adrienne (REA-PtMelb)
                          I must say I m rather disappointed in your attitude Christian. There I was assiduously pursuing the key tenets of rumour-mongering: 1 Maintain and where
                          Message 12 of 24 , Sep 3, 2001
                          • 0 Attachment
                            I must say I'm rather disappointed in your attitude Christian.

                            There I was assiduously pursuing the key tenets of rumour-mongering:
                            1 Maintain and where possible enlarge on the rumour in the face of the
                            evidence.
                            2 Ignore all facts unless they support or do not contradict the rumour.

                            Finally the group stumbled upon an opportunity to propagate a rumour about
                            the GAD era redolent with the hallmarks of some of our favourite authors,
                            and you insist on scotching it:
                            1 Mistaken identity.
                            2 Possible mistaken gender attribution (see Speedy Death). Are we sure of
                            anyone with a name like Clemence? And we all know about Danes as a red
                            herring.
                            3 Paucity of biographical information maximising opportunity for
                            fabrication.
                            4 Authors are famous for using nom de plumes, sometimes several.
                            5 Witchcraft.
                            6 Fiction writing, and a theme of fact vs fiction, life imitating art.
                            7 Misdirection.

                            And the things we could have done with Dane/Simpson:
                            1 Ran off with Agatha Christie's first husband.
                            2 Ran off with Agatha Christie.
                            3 Head of Mitchell's coven.
                            4 Other lovechild of Dorothy Sayers.
                            5 We discover her unpublished MS (otherwise known as your round robin, what
                            has happened to that by the way?).

                            Well I could go on, but if I have this intransigent insistence upon fact and
                            conformism it certainly limits my options...

                            Adrienne


                            -----Original Message-----
                            From: Nicholas Fuller [mailto:stoke_moran@...]
                            Sent: Monday, September 03, 2001 7:54 PM
                            To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: RE: [GAdetection] Clemence Dane


                            .> --- "Ralph, Adrienne (REA-PtMelb)"
                            > <Adrienne.Ralph@...> wrote: > Hi
                            > Nick
                            > >
                            > > Do you know more about Clemence Dane aka Helen
                            > > Simpson. I gather she is the > same Helen Simpson
                            > who spurred Gladys Mitchell's > interest in
                            > witchcraft, > which was, as I recall, my opening
                            > gambit for this > group.
                            >
                            > I don't know much about Dane / Simpson, I'm afraid.
                            > The author biography of THE DEVIL AT SAXON WALL
                            > (1939
                            > Penguin) states: "DEATH AT THE OPERA was written
                            > after [Mitchell] became interested in the
                            > educational
                            > theories of A.S. Neill, and THE DEVIL AT SAXON WALL
                            > came as the result of hearing a lecutre on
                            > witchcraft
                            > by Miss Helen Simpson." Don't really understand the
                            > thing about good wine needing no bush on the back of
                            > the 1950s Penguins...
                            >
                            > Well there was obviously quite a lot going on >
                            between Mitchell and Simpson, > including naming
                            characters. Could be a lead for > your biography Nick.

                            Well, I'm going to see if I can find a copy of ASK A
                            POLICEMAN--that should give me some material to work
                            with--interesting to see what Dane did with Mrs. Croc.
                            I should also keep an eye out for the Simpson / Dane
                            books--see how much similarity there is between them
                            and Mitchell. And if I could get a copy of Winifred
                            Blazey's CROUCHING HILLS--Mitchell dedicated several
                            books, including SUNSET OVER SOHO, MY FATHER SLEEPS, &
                            DEATH AND THE MAIDEN, to Blazey...

                            It would be fasciniating to see another treatment of the saurian one!

                            > > I am starting to see the Mitchell interest in
                            > > witchcraft and the > supernatural is akin to some
                            > novelists interest in > ghost stories. They add >
                            > colour and imaginative dimensions. But I can't abide
                            > > > them!
                            >
                            > Why don't you like ghost stories? Personally, I >
                            can't > stand fantasy or science-fiction, but I am a
                            great > fan > of ghost stories--as opposed to Stephen
                            King horror > stuff, which just strikes me as being
                            mental junk > food. M.R. James is deservedly
                            famous--his ability > to > create fear and tension is
                            unsurpassed, and he does > this without the screaming
                            heebie-jeebies of J.D. > Carr > (a great plotter but,
                            in many ways, a horrible > writer). You should try
                            "CASTING THE RUNES", "THE > TREASURE OF ABBOT THOMAS",
                            "A WARNING TO THE > CURIOUS", > and "OH, WHISTLE AND
                            I'LL COME TO YOU, MY LAD"--all > are superb.
                            >
                            > I'm not sure there could be a rational answer to why
                            > I don't like ghost > stories. But, perforce, such a
                            preference is > nothing but irrational.

                            Well, as ghost stories rely on humanity's IRrational
                            fears to achieve their effect...

                            There > are some exceptional ghost stories that I have
                            > enjoyed, and the supernatural > can be an
                            interesting element in any genre, but > anything that
                            smacks of mere > superstition repels me. I hate
                            superstition, it is > akin to mischief-making, > and I
                            have no time for it. Therefore Buddhist or > Chinese
                            ghost stories are > the more interesting because, for
                            these cultures, > ghosts can be part of > deeply-help
                            metaphysical belief-system.

                            Superstition for the sake of superstition is often
                            irritating--Mitchell neatly parodied this in HERE
                            COMES A CHOPPER, where, owing to the insanity of the
                            hostess, a party of 14 sits down at table for five
                            hours under the misapprehension that there are 13 at
                            table, and that the first one to stand up will die. I
                            also find horoscopes irritating--the "predictions" can
                            be applied to anything.
                            On the other hand, superstition can often give an
                            indication of how people think, and of how cultures
                            function--e.g., the Roman habit of taking the
                            auspices--interesting to see the highly ingenious
                            interpretations made from the evidence!

                            > I don't appreciate gratuitous violence or being >
                            manipulated into fear. (I > have been known to find
                            gratuitous sex quite > tolerable, but I don't let that
                            > get around too much...) It may be my age, or life >
                            experiences, but after a > couple of bad frights (I'm
                            sure no more than most > people who have been > around
                            the block a few times), I respect fear too > much to
                            think about > playing with it.
                            >
                            > The Mitchells with witchcraft and the supernatural
                            > are, I think, her best--THE DEVIL AT SAXON WALL is a
                            > tour de force of imagination; COME AWAY, DEATH has
                            > really compelling atmosphere; WHEN LAST I DIED is
                            > one > of the greatest uses of the haunted house
                            setting in > the genre; DEATH AND THE MAIDEN has a
                            distinctly odd > feeling all its own, with its water
                            nymphs and river > setting; THE DANCING DRUIDS has an
                            incredibly > terrifying opening, with a young man
                            playing hares > and > hounds, and getting lost in the
                            wilds, stumbling > across the odd inhabitants of a
                            house with only dead > trees growing outside; TOM
                            BROWN'S BODY's witchcraft > is superb--the ending "the
                            genuine Mitchell frisson" > as Larkin put it; MERLIN'S
                            FURLONG's witchcraft is > entertaining and
                            unusual--FURLONG is in many ways > the >
                            quintessential Gladys Mitchell novel; and HERE LIES >
                            GLORIA MUNDY has an ending which, like that of TOM >
                            BROWN'S BODY, has to be read to be believed. On the >
                            other hand, I find her works of the 1960s and 1970s >
                            inferior--WRAITHS AND CHANGELINGS, for example, has >
                            a > ghost tour setting that should work, but goes >
                            merrily > down the plug hole after a few chapters--she
                            did > this > much better in THE WHISPERING KNIGHTS,
                            which > combines
                            > stone circles with flitting wraiths of evil.
                            > Another > problem with the works of the '60s and
                            '70s is that > too often there is little ingenuity of
                            plot, the > plot > tends to be simplistic (simplistic
                            by most author's > standards, which is surprising
                            considering that > Mitchell's books are "based on the
                            thicket theory of > plotting", to quote Patricia
                            Craig, or what Margery > Allingham termed "plum
                            pudding"--complication, > complication, and
                            more-complication)
                            >
                            > Both excellent descriptions. I find the thicket-like
                            > plots - ie beyond > labyrinthine - can detract from
                            her work, distract > from her characters and > frankly
                            could be pruned back to a more elegant > structure
                            which would give > her works greater cohesion.

                            I like complication in books--it shows that the author
                            has got an imagination, and is trying to construct an
                            elaborate maze.

                            Yes and no. Imagination does not need to be complex.

                            Of course, some books, such as THE
                            WORSTED VIPER (1943), where everything is unclear,
                            even the murderers' identities and motive--something
                            about a French translation of a name being the only
                            "clue"--are horrible; others, such as the early books
                            from BUTCHER'S SHOP - COME AWAY DEATH, SUNSET OVER
                            SOHO, and DEATH AND THE MAIDEN are good complex
                            stories.

                            I think we're probably talking fine lines here Nick: The fine line between
                            straining credibility to the point that it compromises the plot and the
                            puzzle; the fine line between complexity and lack of clarity; the fine line
                            between using superstition as an atmospheric device and it becoming tedious.
                            Mitchell only ever strays across fine lines at times because she is such a
                            good author.

                            BLUE (1964), 3 > QUICK AND FIVE DEAD (1968), LAMENT
                            FOR LETO (1971), > WINKING AT THE BRIM (1974). On the
                            other hand, a > few > books of the 1960s and 1970s
                            stand out: THE CROAKING > RAVEN (1966) is quite
                            entertaining; DANCE TO YOUR > DADDY (1969) is an
                            excellent take-off of the Gothic > novel, complete
                            with young woman forced to wear > armour > by her
                            wicked guardian;
                            >
                            > I remember this as funny but silly. Credulity was
                            > bent out of all > recognition.

                            How much of Mitchell is credible? Written down in
                            summary form, much of Mitchell looks as though it
                            would fail miserably--try writing down the plot of one
                            of Mitchell's masterpieces, and see whether, without
                            benefit of Mitchell's writing and ability to sustain
                            atmosphere and characterisation, the piece would work.
                            One of Mitchell's gifts--a git she shared with
                            Michael Innes, especially in STOP PRESS or THE
                            DAFFODIL AFFAIR--was the ability to take the
                            fantastic, and build up a structure to make it
                            credible.

                            > GORY DEW (1970) has some > excellent misdirection;
                            LATE, LATE IN THE EVENING > (1976), her fiftieth, has
                            a good plot, and a nice > setting; FAULT IN THE
                            STRUCTURE (1977) is an > excellent > tale--how the
                            psychological thriller should be done; > and from 1979
                            on, her books improved--both NEST OF > VIPERS and THE
                            MUDFLATS OF THE DEAD are well worth > seeking out.
                            >
                            Regards,

                            Nick Fuller

                            > ps Sepulle, as I strain my short-term memory, was
                            > the doctor in 'When I Last > Died'.

                            Ah!

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                          • Nicholas Fuller
                            Imagine! A theory could be devised stating that Clemence Dane, Helen Simpson, M.R. James (who came back from the dead as a ghost in order to write detective
                            Message 13 of 24 , Sep 3, 2001
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                              Imagine! A theory could be devised stating that
                              Clemence Dane, Helen Simpson, M.R. James (who came
                              back from the dead as a ghost in order to write
                              detective stories), Gladys Mitchell, Malcolm Torrie,
                              R.C. Ashby, H.C. Bailey, and G.K. Chesterton were all
                              the same individual. I am also Dane / Simpson / James
                              / Mitchell / etc. writing under a pseudonym.

                              Regards,

                              "Nick Fuller" (obviously a pseudonym of A. Non, alias
                              U.N. Owen)

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                            • chenrik@tiscali.se
                              ... I m truly sorry to have spoiled this fine rumour, but of course you are welcome to ignore my well-researched facts and go on assuming anything you like
                              Message 14 of 24 , Sep 4, 2001
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                                --- In GAdetection@y..., "Ralph, Adrienne (REA-PtMelb)"
                                <Adrienne.Ralph@r...> wrote:
                                > I must say I'm rather disappointed in your attitude Christian.
                                >
                                > There I was assiduously pursuing the key tenets of rumour-mongering:
                                > 1 Maintain and where possible enlarge on the rumour in the face of
                                > the evidence.
                                > 2 Ignore all facts unless they support or do not contradict the
                                > rumour.

                                I'm truly sorry to have spoiled this fine rumour, but of course you
                                are welcome to ignore my well-researched facts and go on assuming
                                anything you like about this great Dane.

                                > Finally the group stumbled upon an opportunity to propagate a
                                > rumour about the GAD era redolent with the hallmarks of some of our
                                > favourite authors, and you insist on scotching it:
                                > 1 Mistaken identity.
                                > 2 Possible mistaken gender attribution (see Speedy Death). Are we
                                > sure of anyone with a name like Clemence? And we all know about
                                > Danes as a red herring.

                                Do we? I thought Danes were known for their pastry, not for their
                                fish.

                                > And the things we could have done with Dane/Simpson:
                                > 1 Ran off with Agatha Christie's first husband.
                                > 2 Ran off with Agatha Christie.

                                Or both! Maybe not at the same time, though.

                                > Well I could go on, but if I have this intransigent insistence upon
                                > fact and conformism it certainly limits my options...

                                I tend to suspect Dane of being a real bloodhound, myself.

                                Christian Henriksson
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